Whoa. It’s been… an August? It’s been an August. Full of activity, sickness, health, and happiness – all the things so far this month.
Today, C3 started in her 2’s classroom. She walked right in, said hello to her teachers (we’ve been practicing), and then started playing. I pray that they love her like her teachers in the 1’s did. I pray that double the amount of kids makes her strong and friendly. I pray that she continues to love counting and colors and letters. Oh goodness, I wish I could keep her with me. She’s so much fun right now. When someone says she’s a girly-girl, I nod and then also add – and a rough and tumble player. When they say she’s a tomboy, I remind them of her penchant for bows. My eldest daughter is all the things.
Last night, in the bath as I washed her still-puke scented hair, I was bathed in how much love and adoration I have for this kid. She drew a fish – coloring on the walls of the tub is a bathtime favorite – and this is all just the start of a whole new world of communication and struggle and growth and OHMYGAWD people. My daughter is growing up. My fears for her class, for her future – they are JUST beginning. The nervousness I felt on Meet the Teacher night is only the first of 18 years for this child. And then COLLEGE. Oh my, all the feels. All the things.
My little special snowflake is not more precious or unique than any of the other two year olds running around, but she’s my little special snowflake. I grew every piece of her when she was still brand-new and unharmed and smelling of heaven. I have poured my energy and soul into hers so she could grow and expand and have opinions different than mine. I have dressed her so others could see instantly what I know all about her. I still know when she falls asleep and the moment she wakes. My hand can comfort beyond all others, my kiss heal every hurt. She is still my very precious baby.
I want her to know that it’s good to dress up and have a bow in your hair, but at the same damn time it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of her appearance. I want her to know she’s beautiful, and at the same damn time that beauty is not only on the outside. I want her to know she’s brilliant and clever, but that doesn’t mean she won’t fail. I want her to be challenged and be safe. I want all the things for her. All the things. One of my friends had a challenge that asked if you could give your child one trait, what would it be? One mother said resilient; she said kind. I’ve been struggling with what thing I would bless on my daughter — balanced. I want her to know and live a balanced life. Enough smock and monograms, enough dirt and trouble, enough science and enough art. I know she is resilient and mostly kind and adaptable (my back-up trait for her). I want her to know ands instead of ors.
Our family – my sweet aunt and my in-laws – conspired to give K and I a day away. I had a massage(!) and K got a haircut. We went to a movie(!). We had casual sex(!). We ate dinner for two and a half hours(!).I drank multiple beers with dinner. And, y’all, it was so so good. It was the first real date we’ve had in MONTHS. There were no errands to run, no agendas. My in-laws kept C3 overnight, and brought C4 home around 9pm. It was so so so good. The hard part was putting the parenting hat back on in the morning. We all met up at church – C3 was thrilled to see us which is such a boost to the ego – but the reminder that no matter how good it feels to be just husband and wife, you’re still parents first. This is a short season in the whirl of our marriage, I know that. I’m glad that together we’re on the same page of how we want to parent, that we’re able to keep our marriage smoldering so that it ignites when we need it. I still wish he’d do the dishes without prompting, but goodness, I love this man.
I can walk. How about that. Or as C3 says, “Look at you, Mommy. Look at you!” Yup. I was expecting 25 – 50% (ie I could start putting 50% weight back on my right leg, for a month). The surgeon told me no restrictions – I made him repeat it over and over again until he was all NO RESTRICTIONS. He did tell me to keep my walker for a while till I felt stable. I kept it for about 12 hours.
I can carry my children from room to room. I think of all the things – the alone time, driving, independence – the thing I missed most was being able to carry my children from room to room. It’s such a simple thing, moving a child. There’s a crying toddler or a sleeping baby, and I just couldn’t do it. Now I can. My arms have purpose again. There are seriously tears running down my face as I write this. I may walk with a modified-hunchback limp, but I can carry my kids. Also, both girls are smart enough to hang on like little monkeys as if neither trust my gait.
I do though. I trust my body. This ol’ thing has given me two babies and got me through the worst injury of my life. It has prevented me from the worst things I’ve thrown at it. And I am so thankful for it. Give your bodies a hug, y’all. That thing you lug around – the shell around your soul – it is very precious. It wants to do right by you.
Also, driving in my new minivan was awesome. Being all alone for the first time in three months was awesome. And then we all came down with the stomach flu. K got it first, then C3, then me. C4 missed it. It was miserable. C3 wouldn’t puke in anything, just throw her head back so it dribbled down her neck and into her hair. We started trying to catch vomit in towels. Which only sort of worked and resulted in so. much. laundry. We made it back though. At one point, K was all, “I couldn’t do this without you.” The next he was all, “You’re doing it wrong.” (See smoldering love above.) C3 was so pitiful I just let him yell at me because he couldn’t fix anything and he was sad. It happens.
It was a lot. August ain’t over. This summer we’ve bought two(!) new cars, a new bed, and now – a new couch. Our home is starting to look like an Ikea catalog outtake. No one has challenged us to the #ALSIceBucketChallenge. We’ve only been to church twice since the end of June. Last Saturday I took both girls to the park, all by myself. It’s all the things.